Trade Bank of Iraq "Operating Normally"

Large U.S. financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase and Citibank are among its correspondent banks.

TBI has 14 branches across Iraq and aims to add four more to cover all of Iraq's 18 provinces, as well as Islamic banking services in four provinces, Jaf said.

It has received approval to open its first foreign branch in Beirut, she said, to be followed by a branch in Turkey.

Net profit this year is expected to increase by more than 18 percent over last year, she said. In May, the bank reported an 18 percent increase in 2010 profits to $361 million.

Jaf also expected the value of deposits to increase from $13 billion in 2010, but did not cite an exact figure.

The government said last year it was looking for bidders to build 1 million housing units, valued at an average of $50,000 each, for a total value of $50 billion. TBI intends to help finance that project, Jaf said.

"We will take part in the financing. It will bring benefits to Iraq in developing its construction infrastructure. In addition there will be financial revenues to the bank as a result," she said.

(Source: Reuters)

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